Curiosity Front Hazcam Left B image acquired on Sol 1937, January 17, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Now in Sol 1938, NASA’s Curiosity rover is continuing its up-close looks at features of Vera Rubin Ridge.

Positioned in location “e,” “it certainly seems that ‘e’ should stand for ‘exciting,’ as we’ve collected quite a rich set of observations at this location, including extensive imaging and geochemical analyses,” reports Rachel Kronyak, a planetary geologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Curioisty Navcam Left B photo taken on Sol 1937, January 17, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Small-scale features

In recent planning, the Mars robot has focused its attention on small-scale features in the rocks in front of the rover to try and understand how they formed.

The script called for Curiosity to carry out a long science block in the early afternoon, during which it was slated to use its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) to assess the targets “Macleans Nose 2,” “Funzie 2,” and “Ullapool.”

Repeat observations

“The targets with ‘2’ in their name are intended to be repeat observations of targets that we analyzed over the weekend to gather additional information,” Kronyak explains.

“We’ll then take a small Mastcam mosaic,” Kronyak adds, “to document some of the Vera Rubin Ridge terrain further away from the rover.”

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm, acquired this image on Sol 1937, January 17, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Large white vein

Following the science block, the plan calls for deployment of the robotic arm to take a closer look at some interesting rock features, Kronyak adds.


Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm, acquired this image on Sol 1937, January 17, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The first is “Rona,” a beautiful large white vein. The rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is on tap to take a series of high-resolution images of the vein to look at its interior, along with an APXS observation to see what the vein is made out of.

 

 

Finally, the schedule calls for taking additional MAHLI images of the target “Loch Maree,” a patch of dark gray material, Kronyak reports.

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